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Bournville celebrates 100 years of gardening at its largest allotment

A thriving Birmingham allotment created by the Cadbury family 100 years ago is celebrating securing its future for years to come.

Hay Green Allotments is a welcoming green space for local people, attracting a broad range of ages and nationalities. Members include families in their 30s with young children to their oldest plot holder who turns 90 years old in January.

To mark their 100th anniversary, Hay Green Allotments has now signed a 20-year lease with Bournville Village Trust (BVT), one of the Midlands longest serving independent charitable trusts, securing its future for years to come.

Richard Trengrouse, Chair of Hay Green Allotment Association, said: “A hundred years ago the Cadbury family gave some seven acres of land at Hay Green to local people to grow vegetables and relax after work at their nearby factory.

“Today Hay Green Allotments is a thriving and diverse gardening community with well over 150 members tending 120 plots in a beautiful setting accompanied by badgers, foxes and the occasional deer.

“We are incredibly pleased to sign this lease and partnership agreement with Bournville Village Trust to secure the allotments for future generations of gardeners. It’s great to see BVT and the Allotment Association committed to work together to preserve George Cadbury’s visionary legacy.”

Caroline Cadbury, Chair of Trustees at BVT, said: “Hay Green Allotments is not only a welcoming place for local people to grow their own food but it’s also an incredible haven for wildlife and biodiversity.

“It is a real community and environmental success story, and we are proud to sign a 20 year lease agreement with the Association to ensure it continues for many years.

“We are also excited to be working alongside the Trustees of Hay Green Allotments to develop activities that will not only benefit their members but the wider community too.”

Valentina Hine has been a plot holder at the Allotments since 1998 and moved to the UK from Russia in the 1970s.

She said: “Hay Green Allotments has evolved so much over the years, especially during the pandemic when it became a big savour for many people.

“Having an allotment is very good for mental and physical health and the environment and I think Hay Green Allotments is invaluable not just to Bournville and local people but the wider city too.

“It’s a very welcoming allotments, we have children, families and people with additional needs, we have our own beekeepers, and it’s full of wildlife likes bees, foxes and lizards; it’s a little community.”

Founded by social reformer and chocolate maker George Cadbury in 1900, Bournville Village Trust is one of the Midlands’ longest-serving independent charitable trusts.

It provides a range of services from estate management and commercial premises to affordable housing and community support services that help people thrive. As a not-for-profit, all its surplus is ploughed back into its homes, facilities, and communities.

Bournville Village Trust works within more than a dozen communities in Birmingham and Telford and aims to create and sustain communities where people can thrive.

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